New Zealand has without a doubt the most interventionist government in the world. We have more legislation, both statutes and regulation, than any other nation on earth; and this is not pro rata or per capita, this is in toto. Since the origins of our independent parliament around a hundred years ago, there has never been a sitting of the House of Parliament at which there was not at least two bills going through debate, a couple at Select Committee and at least a dozen in ‘the barrel’ waiting to be drawn and dealt with. We have an insanity for legislation.
While ex-members of parliament like John Tamihere have stated, “New Zealanders are sick and tired of rules and regulation,” this true statement is at once contrary to our obsession for the law. We consider New Zealand to be a paradise on earth, but the cost has been our liberty. In 1998, a survey was done in which it was found that 92 percent of New Zealanders questioned had within the previous twelve months broken at least one law which could have landed them in prison for at least a year. This is not because we are innately criminal, but because just about everything has been made criminal. The way that we approach the Tamihere line at the same time as the penchant for law is that we really mean that the law should tell other people what they can and can not do, but it should not tell us what to do!
Our problem is that most New Zealanders have never really thought at any depth about government, the law and power. We are one of the few countries in the Western world in which the subject of ‘civics’ is not taught at school. What is civics? It is the study of power, politics, parliament, governmental structures, social and civil organisations, the law and justice. In the United States, every child starts to learn about these things from the first day of school at the age of six. But here we are kept in the dark. Our greatest fascist and Prime Minister, the late Sir Robert Muldoon, once created a bill to be dealt with before parliament, attempting to limit the amount of people studying political studies at university, because, in his own words, “There should not be so many people who know how the political system works in this country.” Fortunately, he retired before the bill was drawn for consideration, and it lapsed for want of a sponsor. The extent to which the National Party, our resident right-wing faction, has attacked the basic need for democracy to be linked with knowledge and education will be clarified shortly.
The Social Contract
All authority must be freely given and freely received. If it is not freely received, it is not authority: it is obligation. If it is not freely given, it is not authority: it is dictatorship. The supposed authority which government and parliament claim to have resides in the nature of the Social Contract. We, as members of society, make an agreement with each other to work together towards a decent and cooperative society. I believe that I have a right not to be murdered by any other member, nor to be assaulted, raped, stolen from, defrauded, threatened, etc. Each other member of society has the same right of expectation from me, as from all other members. This collective ‘right of expectation’ gives us an authority to demand certain behaviour of each other. However, we have no power to enforce this authority.Therefore, we hand over to Parliament, the body which does have the power, the authority to act on our behalf, to pass legislation and to enforce that legislation on our behalf. But this is not absolute, as governments and parliaments have so wrongly assumed for so long.
Recently, at the instigation of another of our fascists, the member Jim Anderton, parliament made the taking of the chemical BZP illegal in this country. Does parliament have the right to do this? Does it have the authority? We must first ask the question, Do we have the authority to tell someone else that they can not take BZP? If I can not order you and you can not order me, then there is no collective ‘right of expectation’, and subsequently no authority on our part. And if we have no authority, is it appropriate to hand over the question to parliament to do the dirty work of a small handful of moralists on their behalf? The answer is, No it is not! Parliament has no authority, because it has not received any such authority from us; and it has not done this, because we have had no authority ourselves to give to them in the first place. The law on the taking of BZP is a form of dictatorship! But then, so are at least fifty percent of the statutes and regulations on our books!
Forms of Law
Parliament traditionally passes legislation which can be divided into five major groups:
- Private Acts,
- Administrative acts,
- Social Contract acts,
- Private behaviour acts, and
- Legislative acts.
Private Acts are easy to deal with in terms of authority. If, for example, a certain will and testament, or a certain incorporated society, has problems which can not be dealt with through the usual channels of the law, a special consideration may be necessary for parliament to resolve the otherwise unresolvable. It seems logical that if parties look to parliament to help them out of their problem, then they would have agreed to submit to parliament’s decision in this matter… thus an authority. With Administrative acts, we feel that if a parliament sets up something like a Government Department, it does not have to, but it does. It seems logical (and fair) that it should be able to pass legislation controlling the running of such organisations.
We have already seen that Social Contract acts seem to be legitimate, because we do have the authority among ourselves to pass on to parliament to act on our behalf. But what of Personal behaviour legislation? For 120 years in this country, the parliament had outlawed homosexual behaviour between men. Did it have the right to do so? If we, the people, had no right to tell other men what they can and can not do with their penis in a voluntary setting, then there was no authority to pass on to parliament, and the legislation is dictatorship. By contrast, driving a motor-vehicle is an act with direct consequences for the physical safety of other citizens. As such, we do have a right of expectation among ourselves, and therefore an authority to pass on: road rules are legitimate. But laws about wearing head-gear are ambiguous. Merely because in this country an accident on the road will be paid for through the free health system does not in itself imply a ‘right of expectation’, because we have contributed to the free health system through our taxes, and as such it represents a separate type of contract. In the vast majority of cases, Personal behaviour legislation is unlawful, because we have no right to tell others what to do and therefore no right to get parliament to do our dirty work for us!
The final type of law is Legislative acts. This is where parliament passes legislation dictating how the law itself functions. The English-derived system, of which New Zealand is a subscriber, is one of the few systems in the world in which the law is subservient to parliament. In so many others, they remain – and must remain – totally separate. When recently parliament passed a law banning the use of ‘provocation’ as a defence in legal cases, it was not only unlawful itself, it was an attack not only on democracy but on the very law itself. It is therefore of no surprise that is was the right-wing National Government which pushed it through.
Parliament has no right to legislate the process of the courts for three main reasons. First is that, again, there is no authority handed to it by us to do so, because we do not have the right to interfere with the law ourselves. Second is that the notion that “Parliament is the highest court in the land” is a false notion, most often proposed by politicians themselves. Ninety-nine percent of politicians themselves know nothing about law and order and justice: they are as ignorant as the general populus. They are voted in for a three-year period for any one of a number of reasons, which does not include competence. The law by contrast is hundreds of years old, some parts going back to the time of St Thomas Aquinas, others as far back as Roman law. It is built on legislation, case law, judges’ decisions, precedent, constitution, common law and the law of equity, all of which is filtered through an understanding of the spirit of the law, the meaning of the law, the purpose and intent of the law and the application of the law. Parliament is an incompetent child by comparison! The third reason that parliament has no right to interfere is that it is anathema to law. The State prosecutes, the State controls the courts and the State now even gets to determine how the defence gets to wage its defence. No democratic nation should allow such an obscenity!
Most law in New Zealand is unlawful. Unfortunately, we do not have a legal profession with the balls to take on the State head on; nor do we have a populus who knows what the hell is going on. And so they get away with it!
Fascism is by definition a right-wing phenomenon. It is indeed ‘the right-wing implementation of all of the State’s forces to enforce right-wing agenda at the expense of liberalism’. We notice that every time that the courts have determined that the actions of government were unlawful, and then that government has simply passed legislation making the unlawful lawful, it has been a National Government. Muldoon was notorious for it. As recently as 2011, the National Party’s Tony Riall stated that he would introduce legislation to allow government not to pay workers for overnight work,. after the corts had stated that they must pay them. In this same year, when the Supreme Court stated that the police habit of surveillance without a warrant was illegal, it was a National Government which wished to sweep the courts aside. They are the party which more than any other goes on and on about the importance of “law and order”, yet they are the ones who will trample all over law and order if the law gets in their way. National is the party which has always promoted the indemnity of the police for atrocities committed by them: they were even opposed to the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints Authority, because, they felt, we should not be allowed to complain about police behaviour.
We have a moral obligation to destroy this dictatorship, to destroy this fascism, and to destroy anyone who represents these forces of evil.